Perineal lacerations can be caused by a variety of risk factors such as a large fetal head circumference, birthing positions that place strain on the sacrum, and first-time births. Preventing perineal tears can be challenging for laboring women. Exploring the possible prevention methods to decrease the severity of perineal tearing or preventing it altogether can be beneficial for laboring women’s physical and mental health. The primary purpose of this literature review was to examine which interventions are most likely to prevent perineal tearing during childbirth. The secondary purpose was to evaluate natural perineal tears in comparison to surgical incision, or episiotomy, and the time to recovery outcomes. A comprehensive literature review examining various prevention methods was conducted from several databases. Peer-reviewed research articles from 2003-2022 regarding the use of perineal massages, birthing positions, manual perineal protection, warm compress, and Kegel exercises were analyzed and included in this literature review. Although many articles suggested factors such as large fetal head circumference and first-time childbirth were factors often challenging to manipulate, the data indicates that several prevention methods may prove to be beneficial in limiting the severity of perineal tearing.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
College of Nursing
Manzo, Victoria, "Prevention of Perineal Tearing During Childbirth: A Literature Review" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1481.